On 26th April 2023, Fr. Điệp successfully defensed his doctorate dissertation at Pontificia Università Gregoriana. His thesis is
Jesus Christ “The Word-made-flesh” in Asia:
A Christological Study of the Documents of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences
Below is the summary of his defense presentation
My thesis is an effort to present a Christology for Asia based on the documents of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (hereafter, the FABC). Its motivation is to answer the question: «How can Jesus be the Savior for all Asia’s peoples while most Asians are non-Christian»? I outline below the background for the formation of this thesis since it can explain the motivation, originality, argumentation, and logic of this thesis. The thesis is expected to be a humble contribution to Christology for Asia.
Background for the formation of the thesis
The formation of this thesis began with the striking reality of Christianity in Asia. While Asia’s inhabitants make up around 60% of the world’s population[i], only about 8% of the people in Asia are Christians[ii], and only approximately 3,34% of Asia’s population is Catholic[iii]. Felix Wilfred remarks, «Asia, though the cradle of Christianity, has always proved to be an “obstacle” for its expansion because of its established cultural and religious traditions and social structure»[iv]. Pope John Paul II sadly expressed in his exhortation to the Church in Asia (Ecclesia in Asia): «Despite her centuries-long presence and her many apostolic endeavors, the Church in many places was still considered as foreign to Asia, and indeed was often associated in people’s minds with the colonial powers»[v]. The reality of Christianity in Asia and its story have verified the ongoing resistance that Asia has had toward Christianity.
Such resistance is unique and understood as the reaction that Asian people have expressed to protect their intact system of values. Asian values are rooted in Asia’s traditions of religions, social structures, and lifestyles. In Asia, religion and culture, the two most important factors, are integrated. «Together they form the religio-cultural system which interacts with the socio-economic-political system of society, permeating every sphere of human life»[vi]. The foundation of religion and culture in Asia is known as religiosity[vii]. «[The] religiosity of Asia’s peoples is not primarily individualistic in orientation, but rather, it has significant social, public and ecological consequences»[viii]. Religiosity is both the consciousness of the fundamental values of Asian life and the guard of these values – what one could call the «Asian censor». Asian countries have often developed their own «Asian censor» based on their religiosity to secure the stability of their fundamental values and guard them against all foreign factors that may appear as a threat to their values. Such an Asian censor has identified Christianity as a threat to Asian life in general because of the Christian claim on the entirety of one’s life. The Christian message has either been delivered by methods discordant with an Asian mentality or has caused resentment, creating resistance against Christianity.
On the one hand, the Asian resistance has prevented Asians from explicitly knowing Jesus Christ, «the way, the truth, and the life» (Jn 14,6). As a result, most Asian people could not access the Gospel values and potential fullness of life (Jn 3,16-17; Jn 10,10), the message of salvation (Is 40,1f), liberation (Is 61,1f), and the coming of the Kingdom of God itself (Is 52,7). On the other hand, the Asian censor has been recently weakened or even displaced from its proper role because many Asians, due to the lack of means, have often failed to translate their core values into contemporary Asian life. When Asian people neglect or no longer trust this self-defense and self-identification system, modern Asian society faces emerging crises. As the Evangelization Office of the FABC mentions, one of the most alarming crises is «the eclipsing of religious-ethical values» or «the replacing of religious-ethical norms in public life with crass commercial values»[ix]. While the Christian message has not been well received yet, Asians face the erosion of their traditional values.
Apart from the Asian resistance, there is still another obstacle to overcome: Christianity in Asia is still seeking its identity. After the colonial era, most foreign missionaries left Asia, and local Churches became independent. However, Christianity in Asia has depended on the role models of Western Christianity. Meanwhile, Western Christianity is facing a crisis of decline because of the advance of secularization, which John Paul II spoke of as «the loss of Europe’s Christian memory and heritage»[x]. Western Christians’ crisis indirectly forces younger Churches, like those in Asia, to find their resources and adequately express their Christian identity, both for their development and their assistance of the mission of the universal Church.
The current situation in Asia demands that the Church in Asia must renew her role in the Asian mission and come up with new ways and methods to approach Asian realities to proclaim Jesus Christ credibly to Asia’s peoples, who desperately need Him for their salvation. The task includes seeing the Spirit at work in Asia’s peoples and their religiosity. Their religiosity should be seen as «the inner resources of the Spirit» and «the seeds of a new humanity hungering for [the] fullness of life in Jesus»[xi]. The same Spirit is now leading Asian hearts to affirm their resources and to let the seeds of the Word blossom in Jesus Christ. Such a task, above all, requires an authentic Christology for Asia that will help both Asia and Christianity find their mutual cause and distinct roles.
Pope John Paul II also indirectly encouraged Asian Christology when he repeatedly urged the Church in Asia to «open wide to Christ the doors of Asia»[xii]. Christology for Asia is needed, which can bridge Christ with Asians. Such Christology must aim that Jesus Christ, in His Incarnation, is the Witness of God’s presence in the entire history of Asia’s peoples. God is the «Lord of history»[xiii] and has fully revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Asia’s realities have mysteriously embodied God’s presence; however, only through Jesus may Asia’s peoples come to know and affirm the truth. Since God created the entire universe through His Word (cf. Gn 1), a proper Asian Christology must discover the modes of the presence of the Word in Asia’s peoples with their cultures and religions even before the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Vatican II witnesses such a presence when it speaks of «the seeds of the Word (semina Verbi) present and active in the various religions of the world»[xiv]. God finally let His Word be made flesh in Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 1) to reveal the whole truth of God and humanity (cf. DV 1, GS 22). An Asian Christology is to present Jesus Christ as the Revealer and Fulfiller of God and His plan for Asia’s peoples. In such an Asian Christology, Jesus Christ is the light for the world (cf. Jn 12,46) that shines in human hearts (cf. 2 Cor 4,6)[xv] so all Asians may believe and cooperate in the salvific vision of the present world.
Finally, for such Christology to be possible, one must find an ecclesial agent who possesses a profound understanding of the Church’s faith and the lived experiences of Asians. I found this agent in the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)[xvi].
The FABC was conceived from the historical Meeting of Pope Paul VI with the Asian Bishops in 1970 in Manila. The establishment of the FABC as an ecclesial body aimed at assisting local Churches in their respective Asian countries[xvii]. Since its birth in 1974, the FABC has oriented the local Churches in Asia in focusing on their pastoral missions based on the interpretation of Vatican II in the Asian context. The FABC project is considered as being «Asia’s Continuing Vatican II»[xviii]. The pioneer Fathers of the FABC, being inspired by Vatican II’s spirit, established this ecclesial body to reform and provide better continuity of mission between the local Churches in Asia.
From the dawn of their FABC journey, the Asian Bishops expressed their faith in Jesus as the Christ of all the peoples of Asia[xix]. With its experience of being the Church in Asia, the FABC wishes «to proclaim Jesus as the Lord and Savior and to tell his story to the peoples of Asia with “new ardor, new methods, and new expressions” – in triple dialogue»[xx]. The FABC Bishops view Asian realities as comprising three unique components. They desire the local Church to dialogue with these components – «a triple dialogue with religions, cultures and peoples, especially the poor»[xxi].
The FABC’s «triple dialogue» suggests that the people of diverse religions and cultures in Asia must not be considered mere «objects of Christian mission» but as «partners in the Asian community, where there must be a mutual witness»[xxii] since God has a particular plan for them. The local Church is charged with the task of unveiling this plan in Asian communities through dialogue. Dialogue originates from the Greek term dia-Logos, which means «through the word»[xxiii]. Accordingly, dialogue is a method of communication through the word. When this concept of dialogue is applied theologically in Asia, it implies the communication of God’s presence in Asia’s realities, including religions, cultures, and the Asian poor. Thus, dialogue presumes the operation of God’s Logos, which lies beneath all of Asia’s realities. Dialogue allows the Asian Churches to be witnesses to God’s presence at work in Asia, such that they can invite Asian communities to their fulfillment in Christ. Dialogue is a mission «to convert people to authentic human values and to deepen and fulfill these values in Christ so that the people who are evangelized may come to form the community, which is His Church»[xxiv]. The need for this dialogue requires an investigation into God’s plan for Asia through the Logos, hidden in Asia’s realities and fulfilled in Christ. Such an analysis provides direction for Christology in Asia.
Since the thesis draws out materials mainly based on the FABC documents, the contextual theological methodology of the FABC must be addressed before introducing a methodology for the thesis. In brief, the FABC has employed a type of «contextual theological methodology»[xxv], based on the faith that «God is present in every nook and corner of our world, in every culture and race, tribe and nation»[xxvi]. Therefore, the FABC’s method starts from the «context» or «contextual realities», which is the experience from lived and actual realities[xxvii], namely, taking «the Asian milieu as the starting point for theologizing»[xxviii]. In other words, the contextual realities «in multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multilingual and pluricultural Asia»[xxix] are the «theological resources»[xxx] in which one can discern God’s presence, action, and the work of the Spirit. Using this methodology, the Asian Bishops reflected on Asia’s contextual realities, including «the people, their culture, religion, history, and struggles»[xxxi].
The FABC Bishops distinguish two different senses in which the term «context» is used in theology[xxxii]. First, traditionally, the context was the background against which one used the faith or the Gospel and tradition to «address the questions and challenges thrown up by the context and respond to them»[xxxiii]. Such a theological approach focused on «adapting and applying the message to people in their concrete socio-religio-cultural situations»[xxxiv]. In this way, the Christian message, being a reflection of the Scripture’s truth and the tradition within mostly non-Asian contexts, was made to apply in the Asian context. Such treatment was not sensitive enough to the Asian contexts, which have already been bearing the Christian message partly.
Accordingly, the FABC Bishops suggest the second sense of context in theology applied in Asia, that is, treating context as a «resource of theology (contexts as loci theologici) together with the Christian sources of Scripture and Tradition»[xxxv]. Context can «embody and manifest the presence and action of God and his Spirit»[xxxvi]. This addition of the context as a resource for theology has caused the Asian Bishops to develop a distinct theological method for Asia. This method of interpreting context as embodying God’s presence and action in history has come to be accepted and is bearing fruit in the life of the Church[xxxvii]. The Asian Bishops’ contextual methodology shapes the choice of methodology for this thesis.
The methodology of this dissertation is evident both in the approach that it takes and in the methods that it uses. It is grounded in the Christian faith as witnessed to, passed on, and made mature in the Christian life through Jesus Christ and His Church, adhering to St. Anselm’s principle «Fides quaerens intellectum»[xxxviii]. This approach, in other words, is Christocentric. In Jesus Christ and through the local Church, Asian Christians affirm their faith and renew their vision and theological assessment of Asia’s realities.
Because of this approach, the chosen methods must allow the Asian Christian to present Jesus Christ as the ultimate Truth of God’s self-revelation and self-manifestation, in whom God’s grand plan for Asia’s peoples is fulfilled. In other words, Jesus Christ must be presented in continuity with Asia’s history, cultures, and religions, and as the ongoing perfecter of God’s original plan. The local Church in Asia is entrusted with unfolding God’s plan through the proclamation of Christ to Asia’s peoples. Thus, the thesis follows an analytic-synthetic method by investigating how Christ, the Word-made-flesh, has already been hidden in the history of Asia’s peoples and how to make him known through the Church’s proclamation. Accordingly, the study investigates the FABC documents to analyze and synthesize the aspects relating to the dissertation structure, focusing, above all, on the Word-made-flesh in Asia’s religions, cultures, and the Asian poor (chapters II, III, and IV). The investigation also extends itself to other relevant sources, including the magisterium and contemporary theological and other scientific works.
Based on such an orientation, the thesis was carried out, as already mentioned, with five chapters the last of which culminates in introducing a possible Christology for Asia.
Chapter 1 – Presentation of the Documents of the FABC – is a general introduction to the FABC and the Christological themes of its various Plenary Assemblies. By examining the documents of the FABC, the chapter explores the journey of the FABC, learning its Asian contextual pastoral theology and discerning a foundation for the development of a Christology according to the Asian Bishops. The chapter discusses the 1970 Asian Bishops’ Meeting and the eleven Plenary Assemblies of the FABC from 1974 until now by focusing on three areas of each document: the theme and its significance, the general framework, and the Christological orientations.
Chapter 2 – Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh, in Asia’s Religions – considers God’s plan, hidden in Asia’s religions, to prepare the Asian people for Jesus Christ, who fulfills their religious aspirations. To validate this truth, this chapter explores the two modes of being of the Divine Word: the «Hidden Word» and the «Visible Word». The chapter first shows that under the «Hidden Word», Asia’s religions are expressions of the Divine. It then shows how, through the «Visible Word», the Divine Presence hidden in Asia’s religions can be named and proclaimed. This investigation of the relationship between Jesus Christ and Asia’s religions reveals God’s loving presence among Asian people, a vision of the Kingdom, and the Church’s mission of interreligious dialogue and proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Chapter 3 – Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh, in Asia’s Cultures – first presents Jesus Christ as the «Hidden Word » in Asia’s cultures by investigating the close relationship between Asia’s religions and their respective cultures in the FABC documents. While «religion is the dynamic element of culture»[xxxix], «culture is the form of religion»[xl]. The explanation of the bond between Asia’s religions and cultures will provide a foundation for understanding the authentic values of Asia’s cultures. Second, the chapter presents Jesus Christ as the «Visible Word» through whom the local Church can witness the Divine Presence in Asia’s cultures and affirm their validity and authenticity. Finally, the chapter draws out from the FABC documents the task of the local Church towards inculturation, which itself is described as «the local self-realization of the Church»[xli]. Through the Christ Event, the local Church will take part in encountering the total reality of Asia. Ultimately, «all their (Asians’) human reality is to be assumed into the life of the Body of Christ, so that all of it may be purified and healed, perfected, and fulfilled»[xlii].
Chapter 4 – Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh, in the Asian Poor – explores the sacred mystery present in the Asian poor based on investigations of Asia’s religions and cultures, having asserted that, for the Asian people, Jesus Christ is best seen in the Asian poor. The chapter first presents Jesus Christ as the «Hidden Word» among the poor of Asia, then discovers the reality of their poverty, and discusses the actual values of being poor in Asia. Second, Jesus Christ as the «Visible Word» is the concrete Divine response to the Asian poor. He is the revealer of the human mystery, the source of all human meanings, and the redeemer of humanity. Third, the chapter discusses the task of the local Church of actualizing the Divine Mystery within the Asian poor through Jesus Christ and His message of the Kingdom of God. The local Church is to act in her role as a community of faith for building up the Body of Christ, as the Gospel leaven, and as the active subject of the Kingdom[xliii]. Through the Church, the poor can get in touch with Christ and receive the whole message of salvation from Him.
The final chapter (5) – Towards a Christology for Asia According to the FABC – first reviews the FABC’s pastoral theology for proclaiming Jesus Christ credibly to all Asia’s peoples. This review makes available a method with insights for formulating a Christology for Asia. Second, the chapter provides an overview of Christology in the history and the current practice of the Church to inform how Jesus Christ has been proclaimed in the living tradition. Third, the chapter addresses an Asian Christology. The introduction of an Asian Christology responds to the question that I posed at the beginning of my thesis that how Christ can be the Savior of all Asia’s peoples.
The Asian Christology that I proposed is the biggest contribution of this thesis. Such a Christology is preconditioned of five requirements: a faith renewal in Christ, a profoundly informed knowledge of revelation, a ready attitude for dialogue with Asian contexts, a discovery of the Spirit at work and the Hidden Word in Asian contexts, and a mandate of proclaiming Christ. This Christology has a starting point, which is a synchronized approach of both «Christology from above» and «Christology from below». It means that such an Asian Christology will attend to an Asian context provided it professes the apostolic faith in the truth of Jesus Christ and His salvation for humanity. Namely, it will start from the Hidden Word of Christ while keeping in mind the full faith the Church has in Him. Based on this starting point, an Asian Christology must attend to four essential dimensions that are religious, cultural, anthropological, and ecclesial aspects. These aspects came as the result of the studies of the FABC’s triple dialogue and the indispensable role of the Church for Christ and the Kingdom. The contribution of this structure for a Christology for Asia is based mainly on the vision of God’s plan of creation and salvation through Christ, the Word-made-flesh, which is seen in its two modes: the Hidden and the Visible Word. An Asian Christology that adheres to this structure will contribute to the discovery and rediscovery of a loving God in Jesus Christ, hidden and present for all Asians in the unique diversity of Asia.
Such a Christology will suggest further types of Christology for Asia. First, a Christology for co-existence will envisage Jesus Christ as the foundation upon which Asia’s peoples can share life because, foundationally, they believe in the same God and seek to express the same mystery of being human, though in different religions and cultures. Second, through the Church, it is possible to offer a Christology of co-pilgrimage that relies on Jesus Christ as the united history for people of different faiths in «their journey to the Kingdom of their Father»[xliv]. The Asian Bishops speak about Asianness, which is «the Asian vision and values of life, especially interiority, harmony, a holistic and inclusive approach to every area of life»[xlv]. This Asianness provides characteristics for a deep spirituality through which Asia’s peoples can journey together into the consciousness of the sacredness of Asian life. Eventually, a Christology of co-pilgrimage will be developed through the mediation of the local Church to assist Asia’s peoples.
Besides, this thesis expands the conviction of the FABC Bishops, who say, «Our Asian world needs the values of the Kingdom and Christ in order to bring about (the) human development, justice, peace, and harmony with God, among peoples and with all creation, that the peoples of Asia long for»[xlvi]. Finally, this thesis also honors the FABC’s fundamental proclamation of faith in Christ on behalf of their peoples, «We are Christians because we have experienced that Christ lives in us and we in him»[xlvii].
[i] News – Agenzia Fides, «Catholic Church Statistics 2022».
[ii] In recent research, a group of scholars of the Boston-based Center for the Study of Global Christianity published that the number with Christian affiliation in Asia by mid-2020 is 373,887,000. In G.A. Zurlo – T.M. Johnson – P.F. Crossing, «World Christianity and Mission 2020», 17.
[iii] News – Agenzia Fides, «Catholic Church Statistics 2022»; cf. FAPA, Vol. VI, 84. Notably, the census may vary among different sources, depending, perhaps, on the method of calculation of the related source; for example, the number of Asia’s Christians that appears in the AsIPA’s report, as cited, is a little bit lower than other sources. However, in general, sources show that the number of Christians in Asia is very low compared to the population.
[iv] F. Wilfred, The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia, 2.
[v] Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in Asia, art. 9. In his recent book, Edmund Chia also points out that Christianity has been alienated in Asia «primarily due to its association with colonialism but also because of its own inherent system of exclusiveness». E.K. Chia, Asian Christianity and Theology, 85.
[vi] BISA VII, art. 6, in FAPA, Vol. I, 230.
[vii] Francis-Vincent Anthony understands, «Religiosity can then be a wide category for representing the religious phenomena that range from profoundly mystical to totally human, making allowance for different levels of participation, i.e., from being a fully-fledged member of a religious community to participating in some aspects without fully belonging to it». In F.-V. Anthony, «Post-secular Europe and Asian Religiosity: the Case of Italy», 44. For Antoaneta Nikolova, religiosity is often approached by two main dimensions: an external one that is connected with its expressions and an internal one that concerns the beliefs, experience, and self-estimation of persons; therefore, it can be considered in three main aspects: cognition, experience, and self-estimation of behavior. A. Nikolova, «East–West Religiosity: Some Peculiarities of Religiosity of European Followers of Eastern Teachings and Practices», 78.
[viii] J.Y. Tan, «Theologizing at the Service of Life: The Contextual Theological Methodology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC)», 556.
[ix] FABC-OE, «Mission in the Context of Secularization and Fundamentalism in Asia», in FAPA, Vol. V, 231.
[x] Cf. Pope John Paul II, «Ecclesia in Europa», arts. 7-8.
[xi] Cf. The Message of FABC X, in FAPA, Vol. V, 46.
[xii] Pope John Paul II, «Address of His Holiness John Paul II to FABC VI», art. 10; cf. Pope John Paul II, «Ecclesia in Asia», art. 4.
[xiii] FABC I, art. 49, in FAPA, Vol. I, 19.
[xiv] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, «Ad Gentes», arts. 11, 15, 18; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, «Lumen Gentium», art. 17. Pope John Paul II also amplified this truth, «The “seeds of truth” present and active in the various religious traditions are a reflection of the unique Word of God, who “enlightens every man coming into the world” (cf. Jn 1,9) and who became flesh in Christ Jesus (Jn 1:14). They are together an “effect of the Spirit of truth operating outside the visible confines of the Mystical Body” and which “blows where it wills” (Jn 3,8)» in Pope John Paul II, «Audience Message on 9 September 1998», art. 1; cf. Pope John Paul II, «Redemptor Hominis», art. 11.
[xv] Pope Francis also taught, «God is light and he can also be found by those who seek him with a sincere heart». Lumen Fidei, art. 35.
[xvi] We follow the common use of the Asian Bishops and various authors who have regulated that the short form «FABC» stands for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, and «FABC I, II… XI» for the number of its related Plenary Assembly; for example, «FABC I» stands for the First Plenary Assembly of the FABC.
[xvii] By the time of its establishment in 1974, the FABC was composed of 14 full-member Episcopal Conferences from 18 Asian countries, in E.K. Chia, «FABC Papers no. 106», 7-8. Up to now (2022), the FABC membership extends to 19 full members and 9 associate members, representing Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan ROC, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Hongkong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In V. Tirimanna, ed., «FABC Papers no. 139», 13-15.
[xviii] J.H. Kroeger, «Walking the Path of Dialogue in Asia: Insights from the FABC», 50.
[xix] Cf. FABC I, art. 46, in FAPA, Vol. I, 19.
[xx] FABC X, «Commitment», in FAPA, Vol. V, 85.
[xxi] The concept of the Triple Dialogue was first initiated in FABC I in 1974, in FAPA, Vol. I, 14. the same concept was repeated in FABC V in 1990, in Ibid., 280. It was then reaffirmed in FABC VII in 2000, in FAPA, Vol. III, 4. Once again FABC X in 2012 endorsed the triple dialogue, in FAPA, Vol. V, 54.
[xxii] V. Tirimanna, ed., «FABC Papers no. 139», 41; cf. A.A. Fernandes, «Dialogue in the Context of Asian Realities», 548.
[xxiii] Cf. L. Moia-Strasser, «Dialogue and Communication», 100.
[xxiv] ICM-CPW IV, «The Gospel, the Kingdom of God, Liberation and Development», in FAPA, Vol. I, 144.
[xxv] J.Y. Tan, «Theologizing at the Service of Life: The Contextual Theological Methodology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC)», 545; cf. FAPA, Vol. I, 231-232.
[xxvi] FABC XI, art. 27, in FAPA, Vol. VI, 27.
[xxvii] S.B. Bevans, «Inculturation of Theology in Asia», 10.
[xxviii] Cf. J.A. VEITCH, «Is an Asian Theology Possible?», in E.P. Nacpil – D.J. Elwood, ed., The Human and the Holy, 216.
[xxix] J.Y. TAN, «FABC Papers no. 108», 544.
[xxx] Cf. FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 355-364; FAPA, Vol. IV, 267.
[xxxi] FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxii] Cf. FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxiii] FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxiv] Cf. FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxv] FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxvi] FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxvii] FABC-OTC, «Methodology: Asian Christian Theology», in FAPA, Vol. III, 356.
[xxxviii] Cf. Anselm, Proslogion, II-IV.
[xxxix] BISA VII, art. 6, in FAPA, Vol. I, 230.
[xl] P. Tillich, Theology of Culture, 42.
[xli] FABC Theological Advisory Commission, «FABC Papers no. 60», 5.
[xlii] J.H. Kroeger, «FABC Papers no. 130», 10.
[xliii] Cf. «Local Church as Community», in FABC THEMATIC COMPILATION, «FABC Papers no. 84», 30-35.
[xliv] BIRA IV/4, art. 2, in FAPA, Vol. I, 300; cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, «Gaudium et Spes», art.1.
[xlv] FABC VII, art. Part III, in FAPA, Vol. III, 8.
[xlvi] FABC Office of Human Development (FABC-OHD), «Discovering the Face of Jesus in Asia Today: A guide to Doing Mission in Asia» in FAPA, Vol. I, 281.
[xlvii] FABC Office the Theological Concerns (FABC-OTC), «The Spirit at Work in Asia», in FAPA, Vol. III, 330.